Texada Action Now (TAN) is opposing the Westpac proposal which is to build an LNG facility on Texada, together with a 600-1,200 MW gas-fired generation facility and transmission links down Texada Island. We think it threatens our way of life and how we want our island to be.
We are to be known as the Texada Action Now Community Association (TAN for short). Our aim is to preserve and enhance the environmental, economic and social fabric of Texada.
Texada Action Now and the Alliance to Stop the LNG project on Texada Island
WestPac LNG Corporation proposes to build a Liquid Natural Gas facility on Texada Island. The project will include a gas-fired electrical generation station up to 1,200 MW and a high voltage power transmission line from the proposed site at Coho Point on the north end of Texada down to B.C.Hydro’s existing “Cheekeye Dunsmuir” line mid-island. The project could also feed LNG to the lower mainland and to Vancouver Island via existing pipelines.
Coho Point – A vibrantly fertile ecosystem: the proposed location for WestPac’s LNG facility. O.C. Dobrostanski Photo
THREATS TO THE REGION
TRAFFIC IN THE STRAIT OF GEORGIA
LNG tankers, the size of 3 football fields (950 ft), would pass Victoria, the Gulf Islands, up the Georgia Strait past towns and communities along Vancouver Island’s east coast to Qualicum Beach and Comox, then to their unloading facility on Texada’s west coast. One LNG tanker would go either up or down the Georgia Strait every 5 days, their variable schedules fueled by demand.
The proposed route for LNG tankers to Texada Island Image by Google Earth
SAFETY & SECURITY
LNG does not explode but, in an ignited “breach-type” situation, the rapid burn rate is characterized as a “flash”. Temperatures can reach 2000 C causing 2nd degree burns one mile away. In a breach occurring over water, the super cooled LNG undergoes a series of rapid expansion explosions which can cause injury to people and buildings. WestPac representatives claim that LNG is not dangerous. In areas of the US, other marine traffic respects a large buffer zone -- 2 miles behind, 1 mile in front and ½ mile on either side of the tanker. A US government report says that the US Coast Guard is not adequately equipped to deal with the risks and dangers of LNG tankers entering many US ports. The American Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation has introduced legislation that would prohibit approval of any LNG terminal in the US until the Coast Guard has adequate security capability.
GAS AND GAS EMISSIONS
Westpac plans include a 600MW gas-fired electrical generation plant, expandable to 1,200 MW. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulpher oxides, ammonia, great amounts of water vapour, trace contaminants including toluene, lead, arsenic, mercury and 17 other toxins as well as varying sizes of particulates including ultrafine particles are emitted from natural-gas fired electrical generation plants. Particulate matter especially below 10 micron in diameter is a major health concern. In this time of global warming, this facility could mean at least another 1.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (half a million cars) each year or 4.35 times the emissions of all 4 pulp mills in the Strait of Georgia. B.C. is a net exporter of natural gas therefore the imported gas not used for generation will either displace domestic production or be exported to the US. LNG is very wasteful with the production, cooling, shipping and reheating of LNG producing greenhouse gas emissions up to 140% those of domestic natural gas.
An artist’s conception of WestPac’s proposed LNG facility at Kiddie Pt. Images by Studio on Dogwood © 2007
ECONOMIC CONCERNS FOR THE REGION
The Georgia Strait is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and as the tourism industry is so quick to say, BC is truly the ‘best place on earth’. It is difficult to promote tourism and a healthy lifestyle with the visual and environmental impacts of an LNG tanker/electrical generation facility dominating the view for Powell River, Comox and all marine traffic plying these waters. The huge and very obvious footprint of this facility, on land and aquatic ecosystems, does little to the aesthetics of wilderness-seeking tourists. The affect on tourism and recreational interests would have consequences to artisans, restaurants, and tourist based incomes for the entire region.
ECONOMIC CONCERNS ON TEXADA
Texada’s economy has been based on mining, quarrying and logging. Increasingly it is attracting new residents from Vancouver and other parts of BC and Canada who specifically value the island’s environment and communities. These new residents create a large number of jobs for local people, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, realtors, and developers, as well as supporting the local stores. The impact of the WestPac proposal will discourage this new retirement industry.
LAND AND MARINE ENVIRONMENTS
A new high-voltage transmission line would be necessary. An above ground line would create a wide clear-cut 18 km long with large towers cutting across the most densely populated area of Texada. The visual impact of the re-gasification plant and storage facility on Coho Point would be significant. A 600-1,200 MW generation plant would be about 100 feet high. The north tip of Texada is a renowned fishing spot and the waters are some of the cleanest in the Georgia Strait. The security considerations of this project would cover a large area of shoreline. This would exclude access to diving enthusiasts, recreational fishing and boating.
Box: All underwater images shown here were taken near the shoreline
at Kiddie (Coho) Point by Sasha Van Kessel and associated divers in
October of 2007. Sasha Van Kessel © 2007
Texada Action Now, Georgia Strait Alliance and about a dozen other groups have formed the new Alliance to Stop LNG. Our mandate is to stop the Texada LNG terminal from being built.
Not Wanted, Not Needed, Not Green.
Learn more, become active - ask your local, regional, provincial and federal politicians their positions on these and other related issues. Ask questions – require answers.
More information, links, addresses and other materials may be found at:
TEXADA ACTION NOW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
BOX 128 VAN ANDA BC V0N 3K0 (604) 486-6774
Read the latest T.A.N. Newsletter
posted May 12/2008
Visit www.texadalng.com for additional information